Egbert Hertsen | ON4CAS

DX the magic abbreviation

DX stands for “distance”. In amateur radio jargon, this refers to contacts with distant or rare stations.
A QSO to a station in the U.S. may meet the definition, yet a contact to the closer Rockall Island is many times rarer. So the term also implies a degree of difficulty.

Since the early days of our hobby, amateur radio operators have been keen to compare their achievements with collegues.

As soon as radio amateurs succeeded in making long-distance contacts, lists were made to compare each other’s performance. As early as 1932, the American  association ARRL compiled a list of countries that gave DXers a foothold. The actual DXCC was based on an article in QST magazine in which Clinton B. DeSoto, W1CBD, described the criteria a country must meet to be recognized as an “amateur radio country.” The DX Century Club, DXCC, was born.

Of course, rules and conditions have changed over the years but its concept remains the same: any amateur radio operator who had worked and could prove contacts with at least one station from one hundred different countries listed on the DXCC list could become holder of the famous DX Century Club DXCC.

Currently, the DXCC list includes 340 different entities including “real” countries such as Germany or Myanmar, but there are also islands located at a minimum distance from the motherland that also adorn the DXCC list.
With 100 confirmed entities, you can join the DXCC. For the die hard DXer, that is only the beginning. You can become an honor roll member if no more than nine countries are on your wish list.

Please visit the ARRL’s DXCC webpage for full details about the program.


Egbert Hertsen | ON4CAS
Egbert Hertsen | ON4CAS
Egbert Hertsen | ON4CAS
World map depicting Maidenhead Locators of stations worked.

Green dots on the map represent contacts confirmed by actual QSL cards; red dots are partly confirmed by eQSL or LoTW.

still needed for HR#1 DXCC
340 entities

ON4CAS DXCC Standings.

Recently, I received a Bouvet Island confirmation via LoTW for an ATNO (All Time New One). Yes, North Korea, #1 on the most wanted lists was confirmed some years ago. Anyone considering activating Johnston Island or Kure Island? I might consider paying an extra buck for the card 😉

Being a city dweller it’s getting hard to get more entities confirmed due to antenna restrictions. No way to erect full size monoband beams, huge verticals or beverages for the low bands. Of course, the numerous advantages of living in downtown bring some shortcomings to the amateur radio enthousiast. Well, I guess you can’t have it all 😉

Egbert Hertsen | ON4CAS
Egbert Hertsen | ON4CAS

IOTA is an exciting and innovative activity programme that has caught the interest of thousands of radio amateurs worldwide.

Established in 1964, it promotes radio contacts with stations located on islands around the world to enrich the experience of all active on the amateur bands and, to do this, it draws on the widespread mystique surrounding islands.

It is administered by Islands On The Air (IOTA) Ltd (called here IOTA Management) in partnership with the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB).

Why not have a look at the IOTA webpage?

Egbert Hertsen | ON4CAS

ON4CAS IOTA Standings

Besides DXCC, over the years I have also had a keen interest for island hunting.

More than 900 island groups have since been confirmed and it is becoming increasingly difficult to work new ones.

Who knows if I’ll ever reach the 1,000 mark…

Egbert Hertsen | ON4CAS
Egbert Hertsen | ON4CAS

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